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Monday, September 13, 2004

e-com
I visit this site called Orkut quite frequently every day. I had claimed some time back that the Orkut phenomena will fizzle out soon (and I still feel that way) but am a fairly active user of this service myself. The concept of online communities amazes me - the ability for isolated individuals to find common interests and then form a group without physically meeting is a marvel of technology and moi is quite smitten by it.

While on the issue of online communities, I was once associated with a startup (whose end followed soon) that dealt with online community building. In my moments of enterprising frenzy I had dreamt of building some such communities myself - the first one being a common forum where students can seek and provide online help from/to each other. The idea was to categorize students as experts in certain fields and then build a collaborative environment which largely relied on symbiotic urges. Needless to say, this lack of business model failed to excite anyone I mentioned the idea to. Two years later Google launched a far stronger, superior and business-wise sound version of this premature idea that I once fostered, and I think they have a done a great job of it.

The second idea I felt strongly about (which too is seriously flawed) is to build a medium to aid budding film makers. The idea being that interested film makers can put up their story ideas, budgets etc. online in this forum and based on how exciting the idea sounds other users can pitch in financial support to the idea. My motivation being that most indie movies cost around $10-20 million and can rake in a good profit. So even if the community had 2-3 million users and half of them supported a story idea, all of them had to invest $15-25 to be part of a movie production. If the movie made profits it will be shared by the users in accordance to their spending and if the movie does dismally then you don’t loose too much either. The thing that I thought was neat is that only ideas that would appeal to a large group of people will get adequate funding - and that would directly hint at the potential of the movie. Sadly, this idea has several large flaws - lack of accountability, issues on fund management and monitoring and fear of loosing your idea being some of them and I have never managed to find satisfying solutions ot any of them. Hmmmm!

Enuff of blogging - shall check out Orkut once again.

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